Boro net stoppage time leveller to secure Retford point

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SCARBOROUGH Athletic left it very, very late to grab a share of the spoils in Retford.

Midfielder Joe Naylor popped up in the 93rd minute to smash home a leveller that Boro could well have scored much earlier.

Rudy Funk’s men took complete control after conceding early in the second half, but they couldn’t convert this dominance into goals.

It was a similar story to last Tuesday’s game against Parkgate, but Boro were forced to ring a number of changes.

Paddy Miller was bed-bound with a stomach upset, while Ryan Blott and Gary Hepples were suspended.

This opened the door for the experienced duo of Dean Windass and Denny Ingram to step into the side, with all-action new boy Luke Fletcher grabbing his first start into the centre of midfield.

Defender Ingram was beaten in only the second minute on Boro’s right, but Winters, playing at centre-half alongside Tony Hackworth, came to the rescue with a saving clearance.

Winters was once again on hand to hook away when a shot by Warren Hatfield was spilled by Kevin Martin.

Boro did begin to edge their way into the game and a cross-cum-shot from Curtis Bernard was flicked on by a marauding Naylor, but the ball was diverted to safety.

Windass and Bill Law tested keeper Jason Fisher, then the stopper tipped superbly over when Naylor met Winters’ free-kick.

Naylor’s charges from midfield were giving Retford a thing or two to think about, and he opened things up after jigging through a couple of challenges in the box, but his shot sailed just over.

Windass was the next to threaten as his whipped free-kick smashed against the foot of the post.

Retford did have the outlet of Carl Haslam’s pace, and he did give Boro the odd worry.

It was home defender Danny Hayes who almost broke the deadlock though in the final minute of the first half, but his header was flicked off the line by Jimmy Ghaichem.

Ghaichem’s attentions switched to the other end at the beginning of the second half, as he saw his shot held.

But seconds later, a swift break saw Haslam scoot past by Hackworth and Dave Kemp. He wriggled free on goal and scuffed a shot past Martin.

Boro almost made a quick retort, but Fisher somehow kept out Naylor’s close-range effort from a Law cross.

The game descended into farce in the moments that followed as sub Liam Pride elected to try and strangle Naylor.

After a consultation between ref James Thornhill and his assistant, full-back Steve Carty was bizarrely handed a yellow card, as was Naylor for his trouble.

Haslam’s pace one again came to the fore when order was restored. He skipped away from Ingram and Kemp, but the shot was dragged wide.

Time looked to have ticked away for Boro, but there was still one last throw of the dice.

Hackworth, who by now had been pushed up front, flicked into the path of Naylor inside the box. He bullocked his way past a challenge and slotted into the back of the net, sparking jubliant scenes among the travelling fans.”